Fifty Shades of What …

Posted: May 11, 2014 in Movies, Personal Blog, Psychology
Tags: , , , , ,

Ok, Fifty Shades of Grey had the popularity run that many writers would dream of. And it has been a surprise for the author as well.

For some reason I’ve talked to more nurses and church secretaries than I ever imagined about it. It’s popular among a wide variety of people. I know you may be thinking that the trilogy is just about all the naughty bits. Well, those are there, all fifty shades of that and more. While some complain about various elements of the writing, there is an over arching theme of a relationship that is formed and actually grows. It would take a whole other book to really get at all that is going on with the main characters, but you just have to read it for yourself. This should be a therapist’s dream to analyze this book to explain how this even was written. Meanwhile, it has become a very popular book series with major sales despite the writing.


The Main Characters:

Anastasia Steele: Introduced as a graduating student who goes on a editorial interview for her roommate, Ana meets Christian. She is then has to deal with her own feelings and his actions. Both are captivated by each other, and the story gets messy after that. Ana is also like any other fresh out of college person, ready to take on the work world and begin a career she has been working toward. She then discovers Christian’s world of a submissive and dominant sex life. For Ana, sex is totally new to her at this point.

Christian Grey: He is the famously successful real estate businessman who is also working on environmental concerns. And there is a slight twist in the behind the scenes person compared to his public persona. He is well versed in the submissive and dominant sex lifestyle.

The Story:

The story can be rough at times, not just the sex, but with the plot. Yes, there is a plot. Christian does have moments that he goes beyond what Ana can handle emotionally. What they both struggle with in the relationship is just that, a relationship. Both struggle to understand what they expect. By the end of the first book, all seems lost. By the third book, things have gone really well with the marriage and kids. I couldn’t imagine what they are going through to write the screen play for the movie. It’s rough to read if you are sensitive to the details of relationships.

I for one was surprised how much I learned about relationships, mainly what not to do. I know the popularity of the book is centered on the naughty bits that countless millions have read. Under all that have been elements of seeing the fictional characters grow. If you stick with it, even when at times the writing may not be the best desired literature, you will be rewarded with the story. I’m not sure how much traditional romance you expect. What turns out to be romantic is the communication that develops as both characters get to know each other, which ironically would be unthinkable in real life if it actually happened like the book. If there is a take away idea, communication is it. No matter what is going on in a relationship, communication is essential to learn from each other. It helps with love and the love making as the two work on their levels of consent with each other.

The Naughty Bits:

As for the BDSM, there is lots of variety to keep you learning something new. It’s not as bad as it could be, but there still are a lot of details that are there about equipment and such. The books are not a how to guide if that is what you are looking for. Just like rock climbing, it’s best to get training. Fuzzy handcuffs may be easy enough, but Ben Wa balls take practice for insertion and use. There are so many more aids that are available too. Take your time to learn about what you intend to use. Maybe a little DIY to start out. Speaking of rock climbing, I got all this rope that could come in handy, but really more interested in Henna art. Drawing all over her body is just so… wait, what was I talking about.

The book has done a lot to help people bring these ideas to the mainstream. Couples can be open to discussion without the stigma that they may have once felt. If everyone else is reading “that book” too, then why not talk to your partner.

Couples looking to experience something new may find it worth the read to play along. The key is communication, the fictional characters had safety words for when things go too far and that reinforces the communication that any relationship needs. All of us have lots to learn when it comes to opening up to each other. The story in the book does have the fallout affects that going too far will have. While it is fictional, there are considerations when going outside your comfort zone. The author doesn’t glance over things just to get a romantic conclusion.

The characters do work through problems, and it isn’t easy or even straight forward with solutions. And that may be why the books have resonated with so many readers. While the sex may be detailed, they do discuss and build trust with each other eventually. It is fiction with believable outcomes and reactions even if the approach is less than desirable.

What is there to take away after reading the books:

Communication is key in relationships, keep sharing no matter how weird or uncomfortable it is. Also, know your limits and what your partner’s limits are. That also means respecting each other as well. Even if you make mistakes with each other, you can learn and grow. People change and learn new things. You may want not like somethings at first, on day you may try it again and you love it. Keep those limits in mind for each other and especially keep the conversation going.

Consent: Consent is just as much a part of communication. It can be non-verbal so you really need to be careful about questions and assumptions. One thing to keep in mind is to remember that just because consent was given at one time that it means it will always be given. No means no. While in the book, there were a few times that the line was crossed and they had to deal with it. In real life, it’s very important to pay attention to consent. And it changes, even for both people in a relationship and even changes during any activity. Hopefully it gets communicated correctly and affectively, so pay attention. I mentioned earlier in this post that the book came up in conversation with a variety of women, it doesn’t mean we always will talk about it every time we meet up. In fact one I know may not even remember that it was how we first met. But life goes on and there has been a lot that has happened since then. Talking about the book may not be priority at any one time and so it just doesn’t mean we always will talk about it. Same principal definitely needs to be applied to sex, and especially sex. Just because there is consent at one time doesn’t mean that there will be consent again. Couples who have been at a relationship for any amount of time should at least be communicating what they are consenting to.

Here’s my thought on the movie as for the choice of actors: I know there have been much said about how they look. Remember that in story making the characters are the ones who see each other. Ladies may wish for a hotter guy, but consider that it is Ana who sees Christian. What she thinks of him matters. For those of you that can be just interested in the surface, also consider who a person is on the inside as well. I’m just glad I’m not some girl’s man candy, she can have her penis-in-pocket. I’ve got a good friend who has those and that just sounds gross any way to be treated as a mere masturbatory/orgasmic object.

Abuse: I didn’t cover the subject that well in this blog. Abuse is a real issue that needs to end now.

Why I Married My Abuser

The book has a few instances going further than Ana wanted to allow, mainly for reasons she noticed while it was happening. Readers will understand that plot aspect as the fictional characters learn to communicate with each other. Remember, this is fiction. Real healthy relationships don’t work like this. Just don’t confuse the normal BDSM actions with something else going on in abuse. Abuse is abuse. Kink is normal, abuse is not.

And while there at the Frisky, check out this news in another post. Anne Rice’s BDSM Erotica Trilogy Sleeping Beauty Heads To TV!

Opinion Question: A friend mentioned smacking her ex’s genitals to get him going… That one stuck with me since it seems it was done out of frustration instead of showing love and care when it happens.

Ultimate Guide To BDSM OK, it may be a Buzz Feed article, but it can be helpful, especially to the Vanilla people.

And from Silver, one of the regular writers at Marriage Heat Fifty Shades of Grey- An Honest Kinky Wife’s Perspective

Kink 101 For Purity Culture Survivors Here is more on consent, since that hardly ever gets taught.

Laci Green on BDSM Laci Green covers much more on her YouTube channel. Remember, it’s all about consent and that we are all a little f’d upped… And of course there is a must see video, Laci’s video on Fifty Shades: 50 Shades of WTF who addresses the abuse.

‘Fifty Shades’ Author E.L. James Burned by Critics in Twitter Q&A

I found this more entertaining than the movie… Everything Wrong With Fifty Shades of Grey In 18 Minutes or less

Pornography has changed the landscape of adolescence beyond all recognition here is a quote from author concerning consent: “PS: I just texted my own teenager for her view. She texted back: “A lot of truth to this. I think dubious consent is the greatest problem of my generation.” ” and to go along with that, another quote: ” Mature women can generally make up their own minds about what they are and aren’t prepared to do in bed. That is a private matter among consenting adults, although I don’t know a single woman who thinks that a man insisting on anal sex is anything other than a depersonalising act of aggression.” Age and maturity along with a healthy self esteem help in making better choices for yourself. You shouldn’t have to do something just to keep someone. Also, Growing Up in Pornland: Girls Have Had It with Porn Conditioned Boys


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